Do Hotel Rates Make You Crazy at times?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by 3wishes, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Recently, several friends and I perused discount travel sites. We compared the advertised hotel rates of the travel sites with that of some upcoming dance competitions and other sport activities that we must travel for (wounded warrior program, etc.) where the hotel is included in the "package" per se. It drove us crazy. Each site, including the package cost(s), was a different price although the same hotel for the same weekend and same style of room. Realizing travel sites as well as others can reserve "blocks" of rooms for events and activities - does it drive anyone else nuts when they pay a posted price for the room only to find out it possibly could be cheaper via a different web site? OR do you go ahead and just pay, sometimes, the ridiculous price for the mere convenience of the location? or if the hotel is driveable, say within 90 minutes to two hours do you just drive it and forget paying anything for the hotel room?;-)
  2. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    If it was a one-hour drive, I would drive. Beyond that, I would spend the night. I am about to do a competition 2 hours away and I am staying in the hotel there. When I did Colorado Starball a few years ago, it was in downtown Denver and I have family in Boulder (1 hour drive), so I stayed with them, and I did another competition where I stayed about an hour away, so based on those experiences, I'd say 1 hour is the limit for me.
  3. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    I often find that the "special" rate arranged by event organizers is higher than what one can find as an individual on the hotel's own Web site -- not to mention discount travel sites.

    I believe the reason for this is often that the hotel has provided the organizers with a significant discount on the price of event space (meeting rooms, ballrooms) in exchange for the extra mark-up on the "special" room rate it charges attendees.

    In other words, rather than increase registration fees to cover the retail cost of the meeting room and/or ballroom, event organizers allow the hotel to charge their registrants more for hotel rooms.

    I believe it is also true that if too few registrants avail themselves of the "special" room rate (e.g. by staying elsewhere or booking the "rack rate"), an organizer's contract with a hotel may require the organizer to cough up some extra coin after the fact to pay for the meeting space.

    Personally, I'd prefer to see organizers avoid the subterfuge and pay enough for the meeting space that there is no "special" room rate that's higher than the hotel's rack rate. Organizers could then raise their registration fees enough to cover that meeting room expense.
  4. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    It's crazy. Sometimes you can call the hotel up and get some weird rate that's even better.

    Usually the organizers do negotiate something better than the base rate for the hotel. However, a lot of the web rates come up at the last minute, when the hotel finds out it has plenty of rooms for the day or something. Vacation web sites also have more negotiating muscle than competition organizers, since they can make year round deals with entire hotel chains.

    Some organizers do negotiate a lower rate by guaranteeing a certain number of room sales, and they do have to make up the difference if the rooms fall short. Usually room sales result in "comps" where for each x number of rooms sold one will be provided to the organizer for free, for use for judges or officials. The meeting room costs may be waived if a certain number of rooms are sold, true, but often they're waived by guaranteeing a certain amount of banquet work for the kitchen or whatever.

    It's all very complex. Ultimately, though, you end up paying for it one way or another, whether through rooms, banquet tickets, or higher admission fees.
  5. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    It's almost as mystifying as airline fares!
  6. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Airline fares I've figured out. (Okay, *I* didn't figure it out, my brother has an MBA in Aviation Business Administration.) Those are easy--you can't beat the airlines themselves. It's not really possible. Any fare you see on another site the airlines have to match, and they won't have any agency fees. So I'll use something like sidestep to compare, and then I'll go directly to the airline site and book through them.

    Hotels, though, you got me. I've never booked through a third part for one--every time I've stayed in a room block someone else has arranged it.
  7. flashdance

    flashdance Active Member

    My mum and dad looked like they were going to kill me after my week long raid on the hotel mini-bar at my sisters wedding last year.

    I did not ask how much it cost! :lol:

    p.s. I did not touch the mini bottles of whiskey/barcardi! I only had a few cokes and chocolate bars! I swear the chocolate bars spoke to me and said they wanted eating!! :D
  8. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Airfares drive me crazy. I agree with DOI; I will never do better than through the airline directly (though you often can tie).

    What drives me crazy is that prices don't go consistently up as the event gets closer. They can go up, then down, then up again. So I feel like I'm playing chicken.

    Also, with flying, I can do the whole BWI, Reagan, Dulles, Philly, Newark thing (the latter two come into play if Child isn't coming and I have to get her up to NJ anyway).

    I do prefer to stay at the comp hotel, unless it is prohibitive, but I ALWAYS double check to see if I can get a better rate than the comp rate. I'd rather book the comp block and help the organizer, but if it's a big difference.... Also, occasionally the comp block is gone if I commit to a comp only days before the deadline. (Happened with Nationals in Louisville for example.) My new strategy--which I'm trying to stick to--is to go ahead and book a room if I think I might go.

    Reminds me: I should do Manhattan and OSB!
  9. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Road Warrior* technique: book it. I'd rather have a room and not need it than not have a room, a lesson learned the hard way. Not to mention that if you do cancel, you free up a room for someone who books last minute, kind of like paying it forward in a weird way.

    (Note to self: time to book room for Yankee.)

    *I spend anywhere from 150-200 nights a year in hotels, that qualifies me as a RW
  10. flashdance

    flashdance Active Member

    Does anyone know why hotels have huge baths but provide you with a minature bottle of bubble bath! It's enough to only wash your hands and feet!

    Top tip: Take your own bubble bath! :D
  11. reb

    reb Active Member

    and car rental prices!
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    CCM-the flight prices I also kind of understand (as this was my brother's job at USAir). The prices are generally based on how many seats they have to begin with, how many have sold, how many they need to sell, and how many they usually sell. It's also tangentially related to where equipment and crews need to be when. Basically the seats have to be cheap enough they fill them, but not so cheap they lose money or people feel like they don't need to show up. But people ALWAYS don't show up, so they overbook, and 99% of the time still have empty seats.

    Yeah. It's a job that would drive ME nuts, too.
  13. dancemominaz

    dancemominaz New Member

    We usually have better luck calling the Hotels directly. Most if not all established studios have a travel coordinator that handles lodging reservations. By reserving blocks of rooms you can negotiate better pricing.

    Be sure to call the hotel to check on pricing as your competition nears, we most always are able to get a better price!

    Best of luck!

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